A letter to Norway's Minister of Labour and Social Affairs

Dear Minister Hauglie:

I am writing on behalf of the Associations of Star Alliance Pilots (“ASAP”) Executive Board. As you may know, the Star Alliance is an airline marketing consortium consisting of 28 member airlines. ASAP consists of the leadership of the pilot unions and associations of those carriers and represents approximately 30,000 pilots worldwide.

In connection with the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (“IFALPA”) 71st Annual Conference in New Orleans, the ASAP leadership was briefed on the Norwegian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (ASD) proposal to change the Immigration Regulations for workers in international civil aviation. We understand that the current regulation requires that foreign aviation staff, not being EEA nationals, must have a residence permit when they work on Norwegian aircraft engaged in international traffic. We would like to stress that this is also the case in many nations globally to protect jobs and national competence.

We understand that the Ministry`s justification to amend the Norwegian regulations is the desire to harmonize them with the Schengen border Regulation. In this context it is important to emphasise that several EU nations do have national legislation to protect flying jobs for their citizens. We strongly believe that a change in Norwegian regulations could have major negative employment effects, as this could encourage social dumping practices resulting in a loss of good jobs on a large scale even globally.

535 Herndon Parkway Herndon, Virginia USA, 20170 Alliancepilot.org

An important core value in aviation is safety. Many Low Cost Carriers that were started in recent years have employee models largely based on temporary employment contracts, The individual employee often is acting as self-employed through an employment agency in a tax haven which is problematic in many aspects. In addition to setting the traditional employment model aside, this practice also poses a significant challenge to flight safety through a far more complex and less transparent structure which complicates oversight of the operations.

The use of alternative models of employment and flags of convenience is in ASAP ́s view a serious threat to both good flying jobs globally and flight safety. It is our strong belief that a change in the Norwegian regulations will degrade the quality of aircrew jobs and is a step in the wrong direction towards the international shipping model.

With such potentially damaging effects the Associations of Star Alliance Pilots strongly urges the Norwegian Government not to change its Immigration Regulation.

I appreciate your attention to this matter. Yours sincerely,

Captain Ron Pellatt
Chairman, ASAP Executive Board

Star Alliance Pilots Urge Their Governments to Ensure UAE, Qatar Comply with Air Services Agreements

OSLO, Norway—The Associations of Star Alliance Pilots (ASAP) today unanimously passed a resolution calling for their governments to review all air service agreements between Star Alliance airlines’ home nations and the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to ensure compliance with the fair competition provisions of those agreements. Cosponsored by the Air Canada Pilots Association and the German Cockpit Association (Vereinigung Cockpit), the resolution vote took place at the ASAP Executive Board meeting held this week in Oslo, Norway.

“Many Star Alliance airlines’ home countries promote and negotiate air services agreements, including Open Skies, based on the principles that they will open new markets, promote fair competition, and provide more customer choice,” said Capt. Ron Pellatt, ASAP Executive Board chairman. “The facts show that the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have provided massive and sustained subsidies amounting to more than $40 billion in unfair economic advantages to Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline, clearly compromising fair competition in the marketplace.”

Titled “Fair Competition and a Level Playing Field,” the resolution underscores that the governments of the UAE and Qatar have formulated economic development strategies that depend on massive financial subsidies to support expansion of international air passenger traffic through their hub cities and as key elements of their countries’ future economic development strategies. Backed by the support of all ASAP Executive Board members, the resolution goes on to state that it is only due to government subsidies that Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline have grown at an unprecedented rate.

“As a result of the massive subsidies received by Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline, some Star Alliance airlines are being forced to withdraw or reduce services, putting pilots’ and other employees’ jobs at risk,” continued Capt. Pellatt. “ASAP pilots are calling on our home country governments to review air services agreements with these countries to ensure that the UAE and Qatar are in compliance with the agreements’ requirements for fair competition.”

ASAP represents approximately 50,000 pilots who fly more than 18,500 daily Star Alliance flights to 1,330 airports in 192 countries. The Star Alliance is an airline marketing consortium made up of 28 member airlines. ASAP consists of the leadership of the pilot unions and associations at those carriers. Learn more at www.starpilots.org.